Empower Abused and Trafficked Vietnamese Women

by Hagar USA, which supports the work of Hagar International
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Empower Abused and Trafficked Vietnamese Women
Empower Abused and Trafficked Vietnamese Women
Empower Abused and Trafficked Vietnamese Women
Empower Abused and Trafficked Vietnamese Women
Empower Abused and Trafficked Vietnamese Women
Empower Abused and Trafficked Vietnamese Women
Empower Abused and Trafficked Vietnamese Women
Empower Abused and Trafficked Vietnamese Women
Empower Abused and Trafficked Vietnamese Women
Hagar Vietnam - An's Story
Hagar Vietnam - An's Story

Thank you for your incredible support!

Through this program, over 6 months (ending July 2021), Hagar Vietnam were able to support 75 abused and trafficked women to both heal and rebuild their lives.

This involved:

  • 295 psychosocial counseling sessions were conducted for 75 people, of which 25 required in-depth trauma interventions.
  • 100 percent of clients/survivors were psychologically assessed and co-developed individual client plans.
  • 100 percent of clients/survivors received socio-psycho counselling about the effects of trauma and how to manage their associated symptoms.
  • Among those clients/survivors who received Hagar counseling support in the past 6 months, 100 percent of them demonstrated positive change in communication skills and proactive behaviors.
  • 35 clients/survivors had access to legal services and took steps to get justice.
  • 100 percent of clients/survivors improved their legal literacy knowledge and had improved skills to protect themselves in the future.
  • 35 clients/survivors received legal assistance.
  • 04 cases received successful conviction of perpetrators – a significant increase in Vietnam, given the challenges of the legal system.

Furthermore, these survivors were supported with more practical needs such as safe housing, food support, clothing, medical care, education and/or vocational traning and placement.

Here is an inspirational story from survivor, An:

From overcoming the trauma of abuse, to being a role model in her community. We are so inspired by Ân’s story.

Ân from Vietnam was forced into marriage at just 14 years of age. Like many girls of that age, she really wasn’t mentally, physically, and economically unprepared.

To exacerbate the issue, Ân’s husband did not have a stable job and was struggling with the pressure of having so little money. He would often take out his frustration on Ân through violence.

Sadly, violence is often acceptable in Ân’s community and even when she cried out for support from her mother, she encouraged her to stay with her husband. She slowly felt even more despair and isolation that she one day attempted to take her own life.

We are so grateful that we caught Ân just in time.

At first, Ân walked a journey with her case manager where she was given expert, trauma informed counselling to help her overcome her past. Then her case manager believed it was important for her to be able to stand on her two feet and have financial independence. Therefore, Ân received job placement and training opportunities in tailoring, selling online products, farming and selling fruit to tourists.

Ân found independence.

With her more proactive approach, Ân was also able to mend her relationship with her husband and they are now able to work together to find positive solutions and resolve conflict together!
Ân’s strength and independence inspired her husband to find work and on top of that, she’s now a role model for her community!

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Key Results:

In the latest six months, 52 women and their households were provided with small-scale loans or goats to generate and sustain household incomes. This is vital to help survivors of abuse and human trafficking to rebuild their lives and create a future for themselves. 


Survivor Story:

Becoming self sufficient with Hagar’s Animal Bank Project.

Ms. Minh is a member of the Goat Raising Credit
Group in Nghia Thinh commune, Nghe An province.
With Hagar Vietnam’s support, she was provided
with animal husbandry training by the Agriculture
Ministry’s technical specialists, and a pair of goats
for breeding. After two months, one of her goats
became pregnant. She appreciates being a member
of the group, and says, “The project doesn’t only
provide goats but also knowledge about raising
goats, animal husbandry and how to manage
household economics. Thank you very much.”

Before Ms. Minh joined Hagar’s Animal Bank project,
she experienced significant hardship. She married her
husband in 2012, becoming his second wife after his first
wife passed away. She has no children of her own and
cares for two children from her husband’s first marriage.
Her husband is in poor health, often drinks and is
sometimes violent.

In 2017, Ms. Minh accepted an offer from a labor
migration company to go to Taiwan to work in a
household. In reality, she was forced to work in a coal
mine. After five months, Ms. Minh was suffering ill health
and had to return to Vietnam. One month later, she had
to pay the company 90,000,000 VND (approximately
USD$3,900) compensation because she terminated her
employment contract early.

In 2020, the family borrowed a lot of money for her
husband’s son to work in Japan but he was unable to
leave Vietnam due to the pandemic. Ms. Minh’s family
is now in debt and pays monthly interest on the loan.
Assets from Hagar’s Animal Bank project enabled her to
borrow 50 million VND (approximately USD$2,170) to buy
a buffalo and an additional goat. Ms. Minh meets her
loan repayments by raising animals, growing sugar cane
and rice, and selling slippers in the local market. The
Animal Bank loan and support from Hagar has
been important in helping Ms. Minh become
financially resilient and heal from the
trauma of her experiences.

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Tra felt that her married life would not be very easy fairly soon after she married. Her husband was sent to jail for 6 months, being accused of damaging others’ property. Her mother-in-law did not consider her as a daughter-in-law, but just another source of income for the family. She expected her to make money while insulting and beating her. While Tra was pregnant, her mother-in-law made her spray insecticide on their farm and sometimes even beat her pregnant belly, saying that the baby was not her grandchild. Tra’s husband finally got out of jail but only ended up beating her on a daily basis. Tra would try to visit her parents’ home with her child to sometimes get away from her husband and the dire situation she was in.

Tra was wrong in thinking that her parents’ home would be a safe shelter for her while being ostracized by her husband’s family. She was the youngest of 4 children but her father left their family when Tra was young. Unfortunately, her brother and sister-in-law turned her and her son away even though they knew the of the horrendous abuse that was happening to her by the hands of her husband and his family. Selfishly, they were afraid that if Tra continued to stay in their home, they would have to share the family’s land property with her as well. They even locked Tra and her son, who was less than 1 year old, outside of the house at night until Tra’s mother returned and let them in. Her own brother and his wife would beat and insult Tra, completely determined to kick her out of the house.

Having nobody to ask for support, Tra sought help from local NGOs. Eventually, through referrals, she was able to come to Hagar. At Hagar, she was supported with safe accommodations, nutrition and health care for both her and her son. She felt thankful for finally finding a really safe and thriving place for her son to be in. “If I had not found this house, I would not have had anywhere else to go to. I couldn’t neither go back to my husband’s family, nor my own family.”

Tra wonders if growing up in a family without a father, which, among other reasons, may have caused her brother to be violent. Tra did not want her son to grow up the same way. Though she became a mother at a relatively young age, she wanted only the best for her son. “I cannot be more thankful to have Hagar with me to heal my scars and rebuild my life. Hagar appeared when I was most desperate taking my child to run away from my violent husband and brother.” With Hagar’s support, her son is now going to kindergarten, which allows her some free time to spend on herself: getting psychological counseling, learning about infant care, and taking up therapeutic arts activities at Hagar Recovery Center.

Once a feeling desperation and helplessness by having her own family and husband turning their back on her, Tra has now discovered the beauty of life because there are still people like the Hagar staff, who used to be complete strangers to her, that now sympathize with her and are committed to supporting her and her son in any way they can for as long as it takes.


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Education Connected with Recovery Unlocks Full Potential.

Growing up in a family where the parents got divorced and living with the father’s family, Tien didn’t get as much care from her mother as a normal kid would like. She was tricked by a group of Vietnamese people and trafficked to China at the age of 16. There she had to be wife to 3 different Chinese men. 

Almost 2 years later, she managed to escape back to Vietnam but because of her family’s economic difficulty, she couldn’t continue to go to school even though she always loved studying. Instead, she ended up working at her uncle’s coffee shop to make money.  She thought things would get better when she finally made it back to Vietnam, but to her own surprise, the people in her hometown started to avoid and look down on her. They talked behind her back and looked at her differently. She was frightened, lost all her confidence and couldn’t bring herself to look into others’ eyes. Tien used to think about committing suicide facing all the discrimination from her community.  

Tien was finally referred by the Department of Social Evil Prevention to Hagar. There she received shelter care, health care, life skills training and career orientation. After being counseled and mentored by Hagar staff, Tien was able to speak up and express her intention to go back to school.  Hagar has supported her education since the 8th grade and Tien is now attending the 12th grade at a school in Hanoi. Every year, she is awarded certificates of merit as a good student. Next year, she will take an examination into a university of social work. She dreams to become a social worker to help out people who come across the same disadvantaged circumstances like she did.  

In fact, initially, it was not easy for her to readjust to a school environment with younger classmates and after such a long time out of school.

“To me, going to school has been a nightmare, after all stigma, blaming, and discrimination from my friends. Finishing high school is already a miracle, I never thought I could go to university. Hagar has always been by my side to encourage me until I realized there was nothing I could not do and decided to take the exam to enter college. Currently, I’m going to school while working, I feel stronger than ever and there are still many dreams awaiting ahead”, Tien confided.

Despite all the challenges, Tien is realizing how beautiful life is, how bright her future holds, and how strong and happy she has become.

Hagar provided financial support to cover tuition fee, books, uniforms, food, making sure all children have access to education. Hagar also works intensively with schools and teachers where clients attend to prevent and reduce stigma and discrimination against survivors of trafficking, violence and abuse, to ensure a safe environment and improve adaptation capacity of clients and dependents in schools.

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Ha* was only fifteen years old when she was sold to a family in China as a part of a false marriage scam. The family that Ha was sold to in China treated her worse than they'd treat a slave. Hwould work from dawn to dusk and, her husband would throw her lunch on the floor next to their dog’s bowl and that was all she would be allowed to eat all day long. Because of the lack of nutrition, she was as small as a 13-year-old girl when she first came to Hagar.  

Ha managed to escape from China a few months ago. Our local partner referred her to Hagar Vietnam as she needed comprehensive care. Hagar Vietnam took Ha to the hospital to have a check-up with her father. The doctor concluded that Ha had slow cognitive development. Her mental stage is similar to a small child. Her father shared that since Ha was 3 years old, she used to wander around aimlessly and their neighbors would bring her back home when they would find her. Growing older, sometimes she went away for one or two weeks. The community was used to her wonderings and if they found her, they would feed her then take her home. It might be one of the reasons why she was trafficked to China.  

Ha stayed in Hagar Vietnam’s Recovery Centre for a few months to receive healthcare, psychological support, and case management. It was difficult to persuade her to stay at the center for a long term because of her tendency to go out. She showed irritation and depression when she had to stay indoor for a whole day. It was also increasingly arduous to bring her back after an outing. Hs earnestly wanted to go home. 

The issue Hagar faced was her health condition and how to support her within her local community. After several health checks, the doctor diagnosed that Ha was HIV positive. Hagar and the doctor did their best to explain to her about the virus and the treatment she had to receive. Her case manager worked with Ha to prepare a detailed plan for her when she went home. With her consent, her family and local authorities were informed about her illness and trained on how to maintain medication dosesworking with local clinics for Ha’s return. It was crucial to have local support and close observation of her well-being and whereabouts. We have been in frequent contact with Ha and her family.  

Tet or Lunar New Year is the biggest celebration in Vietnam and Ha was so happy to be reunited with her family for this special occasion. Her family has been busy because many friends and their neighbors came to visit every day. They brought Chung cakes, a special food for Tet, sweet and snacks to her family as gifts. Ha is well loved by everyone because of her bright personality. Hagar Vietnam is moved by all the support Ha receives from her family and community and committed to continue working with them in the future. Hagar Vietnam remember Ha fondly because of her vibrant personality and radiant smiles. 

*Ha's name was changed to protect her identity

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Organization Information

Hagar USA, which supports the work of Hagar International

Location: Charlotte, NC - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Hagar_USA
Project Leader:
Catherine Sherrod
Director of Development
Pheonix, AZ United States
$60,091 raised of $65,000 goal
842 donations
$4,909 to go
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